ADD Medication and Treatment Reviews


Vyvanse is a stimulant medication used to treat ADHD in children, adolescents, and adults
Generic Name: Lisdexamfetamine dimesylate

What is Vyvanse?

Vyvanse (Generic Name: lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) is a once-daily, timed-release stimulant medication primarily used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD or ADD) in children ages 6-12, adolescents, and adults. According to the FDA, Vyvanse is a federally controlled substance (CII) because it can be abused or lead to dependence. It is an amphetamine.

Vyvanse may improve focus for people with inattentive ADHD, and decrease impulsivity and hyperactive behavior, two hallmark symptoms for many patients with ADHD. It is not known if it is safe for children under the age of 6.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends treatment with behavioral therapy before medication for children under the age of 6. For children ages 6 to 11, the AAP says “The primary care clinician should prescribe US Food and Drug Administration–approved medications for ADHD and/or evidence-based parent- and/or teacher-administered behavior therapy as treatment for ADHD, preferably both.” Likewise, the National Institute of Mental Health finds the most successful treatment plans use a combination of ADHD medication, like Vyvanse, and behavior therapies.

Vyvanse can also be used to treat binge eating disorder in adults.

How Do You Use Vyvanse?

Before starting or refilling a Vyvanse prescription, read the medication guide included with your pills, as it may be updated with new information.

This guide should not replace a conversation with your doctor, who has a holistic view of your or your child’s medical history, other diagnoses, and other prescriptions. If you have questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist before you begin taking the medication.

What is the Typical Dosage for Vyvanse?

As with all medications, follow your Vyvanse prescription instructions exactly. Vyvanse is taken orally, with or without food, once daily. The first dose is typically taken first thing in the morning; it should be taken at the same time each day for the best results.

Vyvanse is available in capsules or chewable tablets. Capsules should be swallowed whole with water or other liquids. If your child is unable to swallow the capsule, it can be opened and stirred into yogurt, water, or orange juice. Taken this way, the mixture should be swallowed entirely at once. Chewable tablets should be completely chewed before swallowing, then followed with a glass of water or other liquid.

Capsules are available in 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 30mg, 40mg, 50mg, 60mg and 70mg dosages. Chewable tablets are available in 5mg, 10mg, 20mg, 30mg, 40mg, 50mg, and 60mg dosages.The time-release formulation is designed to maintain a steady level of medicine in the body throughout the day.

The optimal dosage varies patient by patient. Your doctor may adjust your dosage weekly by 10mg or 20mg increments until you or your child experiences the best response — that is, the lowest dosage at which you experience the greatest improvement in symptoms without side effects.  The maximum dose is typically 70mg daily.

During treatment, your doctor may periodically ask you to stop taking your Vyvanse so that he or she can monitor ADHD symptoms; check vital statistics including blood, heart, and blood pressure; or evaluate height and weight. If any problems are found, your doctor may recommend discontinuing treatment.

Some patients report developing a tolerance to Vyvanse after long-term use. If you notice that your dosage is no longer controlling your symptoms, talk to your doctor to plan a course of action.

What Side Effects Are Associated with Vyvanse?

The most common side effects of Vyvanse are as follows:

When treating ADHD: anxiety, decreased appetite, diarrhea, dizziness, dry mouth, irritability, loss of appetite, nausea, trouble sleeping, upper stomach pain, vomiting, and weight loss.

When treating Binge Eating Disorder: dry mouth, trouble sleeping, decreased appetite, increased heart rate, constipation, feeling jittery, anxiety.

Another serious side effect is slowed growth in children.

Taking Vyvanse may impair your or your teenager’s ability to drive, operate machinery, or perform other potentially dangerous tasks. This side effect usually wears off with time. If side effects are bothersome, or do not go away, talk to your doctor. Most people taking this medication do not experience any of these side effects.

Report to your doctor any heart-related problems or a family history of heart and blood pressure problems. Patients with structural cardiac abnormalities and other serious heart problems have experienced sudden death, stroke, heart attack, and increased blood pressure while taking Vyvanse. Stimulants can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Physicians should monitor these vital signs closely during treatment. Call your doctor immediately if you or your child experiences warning signs such as chest pain, shortness of breath, or fainting while taking Vyvanse.

Disclose to your physician all mental health issues including any family history of suicide, bipolar illness, or depression. The FDA manufacturer recommends evaluating patients for bipolar disorder prior to stimulant administration. Vyvanse may create new or exacerbate existing behavior problems, or bipolar illness. It can cause psychotic or manic symptoms in children and teenagers. Call your doctor immediately if you or your child experiences new or worsening mental health symptoms including hallucinations or sudden suspicions.

Discuss circulation problems with your doctor before taking Vyvanse, which has been known to cause numbness, coolness, or pain in fingers or toes, including Raynaud’s phenomenon. Report to your doctor any new blood-flow problems, pain, skin color changes, or sensitivities to temperature while taking Vyvanse.

Stimulants like Vyvanse have a high potential for abuse and addiction, especially among people who do not have ADHD. It is a “Schedule II Stimulant,” a designation that the Drug Enforcement Agency uses for drugs with a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule II drugs include Dexedrine, Ritalin, and cocaine. People with a history of drug abuse should use caution when trying this medication. Taking the medication exactly as prescribed can reduce potential for abuse.

The above is not a complete list of potential side effects. If you notice any health changes not listed above, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.

What Precautions Are Associated with Vyvanse?

Store Vyvanse in a secure place out of the reach of children, and at room temperature. Do not share your Vyvanse prescription with anyone, even another person with ADHD. Sharing prescription medication is illegal, and can cause harm.

You should not take Vyvanse if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Vyavanse, or if you have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) within 14 days.

If you’re thinking of becoming pregnant, discuss the use of Vyvanse with your doctor. It is not known if it can cause fetal harm. Vyvanse is passed through breastmilk, so it is recommended that mothers do not nurse while taking it.

The safety of Vyvanse for children under age six has not been established.

What Interactions Are Associated with Vyvanse?

Before taking Vyvanse, discuss all other active prescription medications with your doctor. Vyvanse can have a dangerous, possibly fatal, interaction with antidepressants including MAOIs.

Vyvanse is similar to amphetamine and dextroamphetamine. You should avoid taking these medications concurrently with Vyvanse.

Share a list of all vitamin or herbal supplements, and prescription and non-prescription medications you take with the pharmacist when you fill your prescription, and let all doctors and physicians know you are taking Vyvanse before having any surgery or laboratory tests. Vyvanse can cause false steroid results.

The above is not a complete list of all possible drug interactions.


More Information on Vyvanse and Other ADHD Medications:

Free Download: The Complete Guide to ADHD Medications
5 Rules for Treating Children with Stimulant Medications
Primer: The Stimulant Medications Used to Treat ADHD

38 Vyvanse Related Links

  1. We started our 10 year old son on 30 mg of Vyvanse about 3 months ago after trialing him twice on Ritalin (disastrously) with a doctor who refused to accept that Ritalin wasn’t working for him. New doctor listened and prescribed Vyvanse, which has definitely been much better for my son. His teachers report he is much better at focusing and getting work done now he’s taking this medication and I notice how much he is able to concentrate and stay calm whilst he is on it. We take it by 7am because he does have problems getting to sleep at a reasonable time otherwise. Like others have reported, there seems to be a smooth up and down with this medication. We get the odd tantrum as it’s wearing off, but nothing like on Ritalin. At first, his appetite disappeared altogether whist he was on it, but after a few weeks he was able to want to eat while he was on it. It wears off around 3.30pm (after school) and his appetite returns with a vengeance after that. So far, so good for us on Vyvanse … I just wish my son could articulate how he feels on it a little more as I have a million questions I’d like answers to (but that’s boys for you!)

  2. My son was diagnosed with ADHD at seven and been on medication ever since. He first took focalin for several years, and for last five years he has been on vyvannse. I think the effect it has is wonderful. Making him able to focus and occupy himself without excessive impulsiveness.
    However, lately we weren’t getting same results so I had doctor switch medication. First concerts but he won’t take pills so can’t review that medication. Then he put him on weak dose of Adderall. No help because it wasn’t strong enough. So I called and asked to go back to stronger dose of vyvannse. He was on one 40mg capsule daily and now it will be 50mg. I’m hoping this will be stronger. Vyvannse is great for ADHD, and I’d recommend it. From reading these reviews I’m just wondering if my son’s dose is high enough. If you find something that works it’s better to just stick with same medication and tweak dose as child ages or symtoms worsen. Which ever comes first. Only main side effects my 15 year old has is decreased appetite, irritability coming off it, and occasional stomachs aches. Glad to know Thier ISA huge ADHD community, and we are not alone!

  3. I know that there are often more reviews from parents of the patient, rather than the patient themself. Here is one from the patient. I have been on Vyvanse for approximately a year now. I started treatment with differing doses of Ritalin, Stratera, Concerta, and I’m sure there are more. Now I had been on methylphenidate for a few years and my eating habits came up as a concern of mine. This was really due to being in high school and being 100 lbs. At first, the switch seemed like it really helped. I definitely had a higher apetite throughout the day and found myself eating lunch again. However, I think I liked the way my liver reacted to the medicine better. I noticed a change in my studying (i.e. I actually started to study), I found myself remembering things for quizes and tests better, and found myself generally excelling better in school. With my change in medication, I found myself go from the upper nineties to 115 lbs. That might not seem like a lot to some people, but for a kid whose weight wouldn’t go up at all, even as he was growing, that was a huge deal. Nonetheless, some background info: I am taking 1 Vyvanse 50mg capsules every morning, along with 1mg of Guanfacine once in am and pm, and I have a booster which is 20mg of Adderal, which I have for years now, called “the homework medicine.” I have been taking these medications to combat the affects of my ADD. Some may consider me child, others adult. I prefer college freshman. Also, before I end this, I noticed a dramatic change in my mood. I had, when I was on the methylphenidate, gone down a path of depression and thoughts of suicide. When I switched, I noticed that I wasn’t as badly off.
    Finally, there is something to be said for the “lunch lull.” I do not know if anyone else has experienced this, but when I was in high school, especially Junior year, I noticed that my morning classes kept my thoughts and brain heavily occupied. But when I got to lunch, there was nothing to keep my brain heavily occupied and thus I had deep, emotional, depressing, and negative thoughts. I have seen a change in that in college, but that is only because there is more work to do. I think there is some research to be done on this.

  4. I began taking medication for my ADD as a child (age 9) and started taking Vyvanse as a young adolescent (age 12). Prior to taking Vyvanse I took Focalin and it was fine at the lower doses, but when I had to move from pills to capsules it started bothering me. I have now been taking Vyvanse for almost 11 years and during that time I have also tried other medications but I kept coming back to Vyvanse because it works best for me. I have inattentive type ADD so I can’t say how it affects hyperactivity, but if it lessens hyperactivity like it increases focus then I would recommend it. I started at 30mg and now I am at 50mg. When I was younger the dosage would need to increase as I grew and/or my body and brain got used to the dosage prescribed to me at the time. 50mg still works for me currently but I may have to move up to the next dosage in the next few years. I took Vyvanse consistently through middle school and high school and for my first two years of college. During my junior year I had to try Welbutrin and Concerta because I was studying abroad in a country where any sort of amphetamines were illegal. They sort of worked and were better than nothing, the Concerta more than the Welbutrin, but as soon as I got back to the US I went back to Vyvanse right away and my productivity immediately increased. The only negative side effects I have had while on this medication were increased heart rate, dry mouth, and trouble falling asleep; none of these side effects were bad enough to make me want to try a different medication though. While I can do nothing but sing the praises of this medication, the effectiveness of medications varies from person to person and if you try this medication and don’t like it, I strongly suggest you try a different medication. For adults with ADD or ADHD, medication will always be a part of life and it’s very important that people take what works best for them and makes them most comfortable.

  5. I do use vyvanse 60 ml for ADHD. My review is only positive, it is so much better than the generic drug I was on. The main reason is it’s the same each time. I never knew that each time I recieved my generic medication it was always made with different fillers. That’s never good for me. Vyvanse keeps me at a more even level throughout the day.

  6. I’m 17 and taking 40 mg of vyvanse. I found that it helps with my anxiety which is odd cause i’ve heard that it can make anxiety worse, but my overall experience with it is mostly positive. It works great for my adhd, the only negative i found is the come down. Vyvanse usually lasts from about 8 am to around 5 or 6 which is great for school and getting my homework done but i’ve been experiencing a lot of irritability and anger which sucks but some days are worse than others so i have to talk with my doctor to see what can help with that. Also a side effect that i really noticed when starting was dry mouth, so if your starting bring water and mints with you everywhere you go!!

  7. After a long battle of trying to figure out what was going on with my brain I desperately reached out to a adhd specialist in a attempt to finally have some clarity in my life. It made sense after being properly treated. I was treated for bipolar disorder some years back with no relief and that was I can say the biggest hell I faced in my life. Anyway I was prescribed adderall the first go around but didn’t quite feel to good on it. I told my doctor I wasn’t looking for perfect because it doesnt exist but I want to somewhat feel a little bit better so he switched me to Vyvanse. What a difference it has made and I sometime shake my head at some of the behaviors that I was totally unaware being unmedicated. I startwd on 10 mg foe a month started to feel better, 20 mg mg for a month started to noticed and see a difference and I start my 30 mg tomorrow. I can’t believe how everything now makes sense to me. I was totally blind to my behaviors before medication. Although I knew I was a bit off I thought everyone else had the problem and it totally explains why I’m divorced. Anyway for anyone out there keep going there is light for you at the end of the tunnel. Find and work your strengths and don’t worry too much about the rest.

  8. When taken in the right dose with right combo of meds, helps my ADHD tons. Especially in terms of the chatter in my head. Im able to focus and be productive.

  9. I was diagnosed with ADHD since I was 8, and have been taking medication (mainly dexedrine since then). However, I recently made a switch to Vivance with I’ve been on since March, and I recently upped my dosage in May. . My main issue with dexedrine was that I had really bad anxiety. All the time.

    With this new medication I’m on, I have noticed that my anxiety is hardly existent, even during presentations.

    But, I have come to realize that my behaviour is completely different (on my normal dose and on my upped dose), one of the major things I have noticed is that I am low low low energy, I have troubles controlling my anger, and I cry a lot. A lot.

    To the point where these emotions have cut past my personal life into my professional life, and my university life.

    My work is lazy. And I know it sounds bad like I’m blaming my medication, but it honestly feels like my brain is working completely different. When I write essays now, my sentences are complex and hard to understand, because I tend to put words in the wrong place, etc.

    I have troubles with general communication.

    I am apathetic to everything, when before, I was a bit of a control freak to a degree.

    I overwhelm very easily.

    And very recently I have noticed some…mental issues more prominently such as bipolar, and seeing things that aren’t there (but to a very minuscule degree), depression

    Unable to socialize like I did before.

    These were changes that I really didn’t understand or see until now. So Vivanse is a no go for me , and I will be returning to dexedrine as soon as I can.

  10. I find vyvanse the best treatment i have been on so far ! I started on stratera and it had no effect. Im currently on 70mgs of vyvanse per day 50mg in the morning and 30mg around lunchtime. The only problom i have is that i seem to be becoming imune to the dose very fast. The 30mg was added after the 50 started to wear off very quickly and know the 70mg is wearing off very fast too. However it is still the best thing i have tried so far , it has helped my concentration , focus , even down to personal hygiene. Would recommend it 100%

  11. I am a 25 year old women who was diagnosed with ADHD (inattentive type) while in college. I also have anxiety, which is often considered to be my more problematic mental health struggle. For reference, I take sertraline for my anxiety. About a year ago, my psychiatrist prescribed me Vyvance at 20mg 1xday and it was LIFE CHANGING. This is the first ADHD medication I had ever been prescribed, so I can’t compare it to other medications. My appetite was fickle for the first month or so, but that subsided and isn’t a problem any longer. I used to have to snack or munch on something as a form of stimulation, and that has decreased, so that’s positive. Before I had any ADHD medication, I could only expect to do 1 to 3 productive things a day, and NEEDED a routine to get through the day. I really relied on my hyper-focus to get anything done! With 20 mg 1xday, it would wear off around 3, which was difficult because I was still at work. After about 3 months, my dosage was increased to 40 mg daily, so it wore off around 5-6pm. I take my medication at 7am daily. About an hour or two after I take the medication, I get a rush of anxiety and have to just work through it, as it always goes away after about an hour. Then in the rebound, I get another rush of anxiety for another hour. These medication-related anxiety influxes only started happening when my vyvnace was increased to 40 mg daily. It took me a long time to realize that this was a pattern, and was likely due to the medication. I tested it and took my vyvance medication 2 hours late one day and the same thing occurred, just 2 hours later then normal. Also couldn’t sleep that night…
    I am going to chat with my psychiatrist to see if there are any other medications for me, as this doesn’t appear to be the best medication for me. That being said, I feel like this medication could be REALLY beneficial for someone without anxiety, as that is the only side effect i had. Also, it REALLY helps my ADHD!

  12. I’ve read several reviews. None of the have addressed the high cost of Vyvanse. It is over $300 a month for us. This is a big problem, as we cannot afford it. How can we get it cheaper??

  13. I’ve been taking Vyvanse for about 5 or 6 years now. At first I was on 50mg and then 60mg but now I’m on 70mg for 4 of those years. I experienced the normal symptoms of dry mouth no appetite during lunch hours, and trouble sleeping. (I also have insomnia with my ADHD) so they prescribed a 60mg adhd pill that helps you focus on sleep. I did a 30 day free trial on a new med called maidais which worked well but it was like 300 dollars and insurance doesn’t cover it. But now that I’m back on Vyvanse I’m noticing that i still have the side effects but none of the benefits. Recomendations for a different med?

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